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Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm weird

Yeah, there's a news flash. :-) Can you be a little more specific, Erica? OK... I freaking hate "spring forward." I'm the only one I know who feels that way. Why? Because, personally, I don't see what's so great about having daylight linger on and on until 8:00 P.M. It's nighttime, for God's sake. It should be dark.

I am a creature of the night; I have always preferred the darkness. I have a blackout shade on my bedroom window. When I'm at John's, I always close his bedroom blinds. Get that glaring hot fireball out of my face... bring me the dark. Perhaps I was a vampire in another existence. Not that I believe in that nonsense (vampirism or other lives).

When darkness falls, quiet settles in (well, it should, anyway). Kids cease their outdoor squalling and go indoors. The din of traffic dies down. It gets cooler and people want to be inside to get warm. But when it stays light until after 8:00, the nighttime peace is postponed.

I suppose this is all part and parcel of my personality, my natural inclination to withdraw and go within. I don't like being too aware of the world around me; it encroaches upon my fragile peace. The news has been tragic lately; all the reports of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown threats in Japan. The adjectives describing it have been dire: catastrophic, cataclysmic, apocalyptic. John and I are polar opposites when it comes to bad news -- he immerses himself in it, as so many others seem to do. He has CNN or some other news channel on every minute that we're home, watching endless footage of destruction and misery and growing death counts. My mother used to be the same way. She'd watch bad news, crying and railing on about how bad things were, literally making herself sick.

Me? I can't stand to watch it. I want to turn it off and put music on, or a movie, or something, anything but the news. When we had the L.A. riots here years ago and we were all trapped in our homes with an after-dark curfew, most people I knew were glued to their TV sets, watching the riots play out. I turned them off and played records (I didn't have a CD player yet; it was 1992). And I channeled my nerves into action and cleaned out my closets.

I ask John how he can stand watching that stuff for hours. He says we should stay informed. OK, I'll go along with that up to a point. I'll turn on the news at 11:00 and watch it for a half-hour. But after that, I'm done. And what good does it do? Is my watching every last sordid detail going to help anyone in Japan?

And here's more of my weirdness -- everyone feels sorry for those who were killed. I don't... I feel sorry for the ones who remain, who have to deal with their lives being torn asunder, their homes gone, their futures in ruins.

So... forgive me, but I'm going to remain in the dark. I clung to John a great deal this weekend, made sure to tell him I loved him often. Now I'm going to sit here in my quiet, intact apartment, feel VERY grateful indeed for it, and listen to music. I will think about the fun I'll have tomorrow night, focus on things to look forward to and appreciate, and do my best to think of little else. Denial? Maybe. For me, it's self-preservation.


  1. You're preachin' to the choir here! I've been accused more often than not.. about having vampire genes. I've always loved the night. No phones.. which means NO interruptions.. which means, peace and quiet to read a book, write a blog, watch an uninterrupted movie, take a nap. I love the night, but those daytime hours.. well, "not so much.."

  2. Oh yeah! I remember this now. For Pete's sake!

    I'll tell you how I see it: when it's dark you come in, relax, put on your PJs and call it a day. When it gets dark at 5, that leaves a lot of hours unproductive. I like summer, when it gets dark by nine, you're outside in shorts and running errands, hanging out, doing stuff. In other words, not in a dark house reading a book in the dark being depressed!

  3. I'm totally the same way when it comes to catastrophes--I couldn't have described myself better! Yes, we should at least have a basic idea of what's going on, but immersing yourself, suddenly remembering a friend of a friend of a distant enemy that *might* live where this thing occurred, freaking yourself out about it all? I have enough anxiety without taking all of that in! I just pray for the survivors and be a little more thankful for my own life.

  4. Zelle -- I'm telling you, daytime (especially morning) is overrated. There's something so exquisitely peaceful about the quiet late-night hours, feeling like I'm the only one who is awake. :-)

    Craig -- oh, for Pete's sake, yourself. :-) Some of us can be quite productive after dark, thank you.

    LB -- If I had unlimited funds, I'd send money. If I were a believer, I'd pray for them. But since there is nothing I can do, the immersion is pointless. But yes, the gratitude is a good thing. Keeps things in perspective.

  5. Hi Erica,

    I don't think you're weird. I don't like Daylight Savings Time either for many of the reasons you have already cited.

    As for Japan, I morn for the dead and for those who suffered losses, but I have watched very little news footage. There's really very little I can do for Japan and its people. I've already seen enough disaster video over the years to last me a life time. Besides, I really don't like dwelling on the ungodly misery of others.

  6. We do not have daytime saving in South Africa, so at least I am saved (for now) from feeling miserable because I know by rights it should be dark.

    I am very much a night person, definitely not a morning person in general, and also when at home, have the shades drawn during the day.

    I was so immersed in work this past week, including Friday night, that the news about Japan only came to my attention in the early hours of Saturday (which would have been your late Friday afternoon).

    I went online, read what I could, have great empathy for the survivors who in most cases not only lost property, but family and friends. But that was it - a daily update of about 2-3 minutes for me is enough.

    Tragedies like these are reminders for me to value what I do have, right now, be appreciative of family and friends but on the other hand, the stark reality is that for everyone else not affected, normal life carries on, with its own set of problems.

    And to be very honest, I am adament in wanting to avoid the period that will come in the news footage, when the actual event has become old news, and to keep viewers glued, the media starts using the doom prophets, the "hidden" meanings etc.

    I have seen it happen in the 9/11 tragedy, the tsunami in Thailand etc - and it angers me beyond words, for it cheapens and degrades the memories of those who did die, and shows no respect for those who are left behind with the aftermath of personal loss.

    Eh..I think I am ranting a bit here, but you are right Erica, I will rather put on some music, maybe not clean out closets (GRIN), but use my time constructively. If anything, tragedies like this, shows how precious time is.

  7. You are not alone in detesting DST. The government is everywhere. Some places do not get dark until 10pm. It messes with my sleep cycle. It was daylight here at 6, now it's dark until almost 7am.

  8. I agree with you about the news. It's one thing to stay informed, but then too much death and destruction is very depressing. I switched off the latest videos from Japan last night. Couldn't bear to think about what was in all that water.

    However, I'm a fowl, not an owl. I love early mornings, and bedtime is indecently early because of it.


  9. Hello my Erica so your a vampire now hehehe just joking LOL, but just think about it wouldn't it be VERY COOL if you were, you love Dark Shadows.I totally agree with you about watching bad news it's ok to stay informed but it's depressing. i like it when it stay's lighter outside i can do more fun things outside, i don't like the dark because it brings back bad scary memorie's of when i was very young, something bad happened to me that made me fear the dark. i can't wait to hear about your spanking fun with NG, I Love reading about that kind of news cause that is good news. i Love you big hugs from your naughty girl Jade xoxo

  10. Oh, darling Erica, you would HATE it here in WA state in the summer, because it doesn't get dark until well after 10 PM. In fact, Fourth of July firework shows generally don't begin until about 10:30. I, too, am a night owl, but really love the long evenings here because at least I'm not up late alone. Razor tends to stay up later in the summer.

    Katie :)

  11. AP -- I've never quite understood the need to saturate oneself with the misery of others. It doesn't help them and it sure doesn't help me.

    OBB -- good, I'm glad I'm not the only one.

    Hermione -- (gasp) Talking about mornings is fowl language. :-D

    Jade -- I'm sorry you're scared of the dark. :-( I think a lot of people are.

    Katie -- seriously, 10 PM? Wow. Well... I think all the rain and cloudy, dark days would make up for that... I would love those! :-)

  12. I think there's a line between being informed and dwelling on it. Being aware of a disaster or war or issue is good, but staying focused on it without the ability or will to help is probably unhealthy.

    I completely agree about day light saving time. It's a huge waste and stressful for a lot of people. I don't know anyone who likes going through the time changes.

  13. Anonymous -- generally, though, it seems that more people prefer it when it stays light later. That's the part I object to.

  14. Raven -- for reasons unknown, your comment went into the spam folder... so sorry! :-( Glad I discovered that. Yeah, the babblers after the fact can make you nuts; especially the fanatics who say this is punishment for something or another. Shut UP.

  15. Erica,

    I don't like the time changes, either. As for the dark, well, one of the first things I did when I got into this house was take down the blinds! I have to have a lot of light coming in and in this place there isn't enough. Where I used to live, I had a prow that was 21' up to the top beam and 14 large windows that let in a lot of light. I should not have sold that house. (I will not go there.)

    I have been a morning person and I used to get up at 5:00am, but since that dang PE, I have been getting up later; 7 or so. With the time change it is almost 8.

    As for the news and all that, I get mine from the internet and the Eruptions blog. That has been enough for me and at least I know what is going on. The nice thing about the internet is you can read the stories you want and leave the rest. When I do watch TV, it is on some kind of scientific stuff.

    Have a lot of fun tonight!

  16. Bobbie Jo -- I watch a fair amount of TV. But unlike John, who is all about CNN, History channel and National Geographic, I'm pure escape -- sitcoms and engaging dramas. Although I admit to liking the crime shows like Dateline and 48 Hours.

  17. Well, I'm with you in several ways here:

    I tend to tread the wee hours a lot, myself. (Vampy Vampires and Werewolfies! Hey, there's an idea for movie, huh!)

    Springrose read me a quote about the blasted blasphemy that is DST: "Only white people would think that cutting the top off the blanket and sewing it to the bottom makes the blanket longer."

    As to the suffering, yes, those who are left behind, bereaved and in other trouble, fare the worst. It is important to know what's happening, especially if there is help needed that we can give; but there is enough intake of that at a certain point for anyone's health.

  18. I'm with you on Daylight Savings, it should be done away with. Arizona and Hawaii don't have to change their clocks, why do the rest of us? To give people a little more time to be outside playing baseball? Let's ban daylight savings time AND baseball, who's with me? Lol.

  19. Erica,

    I like the crime shows, too. I used to watch CSI stuff, but I go to bed earlier now. But I like ID and Forensic Files, and sometimes 48 Hours. Of course, anything about volcanoes! Hence, the Eruptions blog.

  20. BTW, Erica, I don't think you are weird! My brother is a night owl. :-)

  21. Dave -- Werewolfies! LOL

    Lea -- LOL! Oh, you're asking for big trouble with that baseball thing!

    Bobbie Jo -- I'm a Law&Order SVU nut; never miss it.

  22. Erica, I'm weird in the same way with you.

    I understand what you mean and feel. being too aware is painful and depressing.

    Certain amount of escapism is my thing :-)


  23. Wolfie, you're a nut. :-)

    Maria -- well, that's what they invented comedy for, no? :-)